Info

Writing for Children: How to Write a Children's Book, Writing for Magazines, Getting Paid for Writing, Getting Published

Do you want to learn how to write a children's book? Make money writing for children's magazines? Every Friday the Writing for Children podcast publishes from The Institute of Children's Literature. Since 1969, ICL has taught over 470,205 aspiring writers. Listen to the director of both The Institute for Writers and The Institute of Children's Literature and bestselling children's author Katie Davis host the show as she focuses on the craft of writing for children. She talks about how to write a children’s book, how to write for children’s magazines, how to get paid for your writing, and how to get published in the world of kidlit. There are listener questions, with answers from the experts at the Institute, plus hard-to-find resources, tips, and links included in every week's show notes.
RSS Feed Subscribe in iTunes
2017
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: July, 2017
Jul 28, 2017

WRAPPING UP YOUR STORY

Author John Green likes to collect famous last words. The last things we speak can say a lot about us, or they can be vague and anti-climactic. That’s because real life isn’t as tidy as a story. In a story, the last lines usually do say a lot (even if only symbolically) about the story.

For the last word on this topic and an ending checklist, listen to the full episode.

 

Do you have questions about how the children's publishing industry works?

Tell us and we'll answer your writing questions on the podcast. Go to this link and leave your question: http://www.writingforchildren.com/speak.

Is your manuscript submission-ready?
Submit your manuscript to our critique service and one of our instructors will give you a full critique to make your story the best it can be before you send it to that perfect agent or publisher. Go to https://www.instituteforwriters.com/critique-service/

Jul 21, 2017

HOW TO TIME YOUR ENDING

In a way, every story is a story of transformation. Circumstances change. Characters experience revelations. Challenges are met and overcome. The longer the work you’re writing, the more transformations are likely to occur. In board books and many picture books, for instance, the transformation is often simply circumstance. In the very famous Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, the little rabbit experiences the changes that come with bedtime. The little rabbit undergoes no change in personality or beliefs, and nothing is really overcome. The transformation is simple because board books are often more about the sound of the language and the images than they are about any deep story. But board books can accomplish a bit more. Lift-the-Flap board books are often a type of mystery. In another famous board book, Where’s Spot? by Eric Hill, the reader joins Spot’s mother on a search for her pup. Finding the ending in these books is quite simple. Good Night Moon ends after we’ve bid everyone and everything possible a “good night.” Where’s Spot? ends with the finding of Spot.

But what about a more complicated book? How do you find the right ending for the picture book you’re presently tooling with? Again, transformation can be the key to finding the ending. How many things transform in your book? Have you revealed all of them?

Listen to the full episode for advice on ramping up to your ending.

Do you have questions about how the children's publishing industry works?

Tell us and we'll answer your writing questions on the podcast. Go to this link and leave your question: http://www.writingforchildren.com/speak.

 

Before you hit send...
Submit your manuscript to our critique service and one of our instructors will give you a full critique to make your story the best it can be before you send it to that perfect agent or publisher. Go to https://www.instituteforwriters.com/critique-service/

 

Jul 14, 2017

WHY SUBMISSION GUIDELINES MATTER

Many times, editors finally find time to dig into the slush pile or they open their email and check out submissions and get a disappointing surprise. People send poetry for children to publishers who list “no poetry” right in their guidelines. People send fiction for children to publishers who only publish nonfiction. People send parenting essays to magazines that only publish material for children. Why would anyone send things like this when it cannot possibly result in a sale?

They do it because they never read the magazine or checked out the publisher’s list. They didn’t read the submissions guidelines. They didn’t get our incredible annual guides that give you all the information you could possibly need in order to get published, and/or they didn’t do a search online for information about the publisher from third party sources.
 
They simply didn’t bother.

 

To find what editors do with these submissions and how you can avoid being one of them, listen to the full episode.

 

Do you have questions about how the children's publishing industry works?

Tell us and we'll answer your writing questions on the podcast. Go to this link and leave your question: http://www.writingforchildren.com/speak.

 

Before you hit send...
Submit your manuscript to our critique service and one of our instructors will give you a full critique to make your story the best it can be before you send it to that perfect agent or publisher. Go to https://www.instituteforwriters.com/critique-service/

 

Jul 7, 2017

MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE

As you work through your revision and polish up your work, don’t forget dialogue. Few things can do more for your story than good dialogue, so it’s worthwhile to get it right.

___Check that all spoken dialogue is enclosed in quotation marks and that punctuation occurs inside the quotation marks. [Enclosing all punctuation within the quotes is standard style of most American publishers.]

___Only spoken words go in quotes, thoughts do not need to be set off with quotation marks. Some writers use italics to set off thoughts.

___The best verb for tagging your dialogue is “said.” Use other verbs when they truly add to the moment. And do not use verbs as speech tags unless they actually describe speech -- “sneered” or “snorted” and the like are not speech tags.

For the rest of the checklist, listen to the full episode.

 

Do you have questions about how the children's publishing industry works?

Tell us and we'll answer your writing questions on the podcast. Go to this link and leave your question: http://www.writingforchildren.com/speak.

 

Before you hit send...
Submit your manuscript to our critique service and one of our instructors will give you a full critique to make your story the best it can be before you send it to that perfect agent or publisher. Go to https://www.instituteforwriters.com/critique-service/

 

1